Lucky Ghost, Matthew Blakstad Book Review

Hello friends! Yes it is I back with another rambling book review! I was lucky enough to have been approved for a review copy of one of Hodder & Stoughton’s latest titles Lucky Ghost which is sort of a science fiction novel with a lot of the elements of a spy/mystery/thriller novel as well. Want to hear what I thought? Well you’ll have to read on!

Goodreads Summary:

Early one Monday morning, much like today, journalist Alex Kubelick walks up to a total stranger and slaps him across the face. Hard.

He thanks her.

They’ve both just earned Emoticoins in a new, all-consuming game that trades real-life emotions for digital currency. Emoticoins are changing the face of the global economy – but someone or something seems to be controlling the game for their own, nefarious purposes.

As Alex begins to pick apart the tangled threads that are holding the virtual game together she finds herself on the run from very real enemies. With the world economy teetering on the brink of collapse, it seems there’s only one person who might have the answers she seeks.Someone who hides behind the mysterious name ‘Lucky Ghost.’

But who is Lucky Ghost… and can they really be trusted?

And what do they want?

I’m going to make a confession, despite marrying a computer scientist very soon my knowledge of computers is sub optimal. Similarly, my knowledge of economic theory is a little lacking so as much as I would love to tell you all how super accurate this book is in both of those factors…I cannot, nor will I try. There is a lot of interesting knowledge thrown about in this book though which just adds to your enjoyment of the reading. It’s done in such a way that it doesn’t feel boring but you do get the sense that you’re being exposed to some interesting and important concepts. My kind of learning, the kind where you don’t have to work too hard for it.

My favourite aspect of this book was of course the idea of The Strange which is sort of like if Google glass teamed up with amazing game developers and made virtuality gaming like how all those ‘in the future’ programmes from the 90s thought it would be? Does that make sense? If it doesn’t sound like the best thing ever then I explained it wrong. Fact is, even though I know the reader is meant to understand that The Strange is not the healthiest or best thing to do with your day I still wanted to have a go. Blakstad’s writing is such that it gets you hooked on the very thing you are told throughout the book is not necessarily good for you. It’s a book of subtleties, which was a surprise to me.

Our main character Alex is a lesbian which was a happy bit of representation that could easily have been otherwise. I liked that it wasn’t the main part of the book or of Alex’s personality it just was.

This is a longer read than I’ve been used to recently, but it didn’t get boring so I didn’t mind. As I say, there’s a bit of technical speak but I don’t see that as a bad thing. It’s got intrigue, action, video game elements, shortly put it is an incredibly fun and simultaneously thought-provoking read.

My rating: 4/5 stars

By the way, I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

What say you? Is this something you might like to read? Let me know in the comments below!

J

 

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